Back to the General Documentation


While most of the Known World is completely lawless, all centers of civilization possess some sort of penal code, and the city-states in particular. Since most of the population lives in these cities, the following applies mostly to them--villages and outposts usually have scaled-down versions of these rules, and usually do not involve templars.

The following are ways to become branded a criminal:

Offend a templar. Templars have complete power over who is and is not considered a criminal, and can accuse anyone of any crime whenever they wish (except other templars, of course). The fact of any real crime or the existence or lack of evidence makes no difference. If a templar says you are guilty, you are guilty.

Be witnessed committing a murder. Citizens will report such crimes quite quickly to the templars. [Be warned, any room which says it is full of people _is_ full of virtual npcs who will report crimes, so there does not really have to be an actual npc to see your crime.]

Be seen committing a theft. See the rule for virtual npcs under number two.

This list is not comprehensive, and one may find he is a criminal for any number of other reasons. There are several ways to absolve yourself from crimes, and have the label of criminal lifted:

Die. Dying will remove your criminal status. However, this is not usually a desirable option.

Bribe a templar. Templars have the power to pardon any criminal, and may or may not do so if bribed.

Leave the city. The lists of criminals which Templars maintain is large, and after a while everyone will usually forget your crime. This can take as long as several weeks, however, which are best spent in another city or in hiding.

Spend time in the dungeons. One can pay his time in the city prisons by turning oneself in or by being caught.


The Zalanthan standards for measuring distance and mass were developed during the Old Empire of Man. These conventions apparently withstood the reign of the Dragon, or were in fact created by the Dragon.


Short distances are measured in inches [which bear a small resemblance to the English inch]. An inch is considered to be the length of the Emporer's thumb, but was long since normalized to mean a single unit of distance.

Longer distances use units called cords, which are fifteen inches long. Such units as miles and leagues are also commonly used, descended from the Bendune speech of the nomadic tribesmen, a mile being 5333 cords and a league equalling three miles.


All masses are measured in stones. [Stones are relatively equivalent to a kilogram.] Larger masses, in order to avoid using too many counting markers, have become called in five-stone, ten-stone, and hundred-stone. People are typically measured in ten-stone while objects are usually measured in stone.


NPC's are all living beings which are not controlled by players. It stands for Non-Player Character. A tribal merchant who wanders the streets of Allanak, a mantis raider in the desert sands, and an old grey kank are all examples of NPC's. Any NPC may at any time be inhabited by the spirit of an immortal, and might then take on some special life. No warnings are necessary. In addition, NPC's can sometimes act in unexpectedly intelligent ways. Any complaints about NPC behavior (such as "They can't do that!") will be pointedly ignored.


PC stands for Player Character. Player characters are all those people in the world who are always controlled by a real human being. It is the intention of the creators of Armageddon to afford the maximum number of free choices to each PC. In order to do this, the world must be made very hard to live in, convenient to none, but the suffering so caused is also the benefit gained of being able to do almost anything.

Player characters should be remembered as such. Players *are not* synonymous with characters. Anything that happens to your character should be taken in that context. Threats against your character should not be interpreted as threats against *you*. Players are real people and must be treated with an accordant respect. Characters are fictional creations which may find themselves in any number of situations, be they favorable or not--don't get enmeshed in the fictional world that your character is living within. The distinction between players and characters is vital, and there are methods of dealing with each: to speak *with your character* to another character, use the 'say' command; to speak as a human being to another human being, player to player, use the 'ooc' command. Please keep this distinction in mind.


Time is measured very differently on Zalanthas, having much more to do with the motion of the sun and the collective movements of the sun and two moons.

Each day is divided into nine equal hours: predawn, dawn, early morning, late morning, high sun, early afternoon, late afternoon, dusk, and night. Note that there are only two hours of sundown for every seven hours of sunup.

Days are also grouped into weeks of eleven days: Ocandra, Terrin, Abid, Cingel, Nekrete, Waleuk, Yochem, Huegel, Dzeda, Barani, and Detal. Not much is known as to why eleven days were chosen to comprise a week, but the current superstition amongst the common folk is that each day was named after a member of the Old Council of Kings, but nobody is absolutely certain of this at all.

Days are further grouped into sets of two hundred thirty-one. This interval marks the third time the sun and two moons converge in each phase of the sun. Thus, in a 231-day phase, the sun and moons will all occupy the same place in the sky, which happens to occur at midnight, exactly three times. The third time this happens, the sun is said to have moved into another phase and a new month begins.

There are three such phases or months in a Zalanthan year, which is thus comprised of 693 days. The sun returns to its original arc in the sky at the end of each year; the three primary arcs being the Arc of Descension, the Low Arc, and the Arc of Ascension.

Years are measured on a 77-year cycle called a King's Age. Each year in the cycle has its own name.


The two weather concerns of Zalanthans are the wind and the blowing sand which the wind drives. The wind can sometimes reach up to ninety miles per hour, building into enormous gales across the flat wastes. When high winds pass over areas such as the Red Desert or the Sea of Dust, they invariably pick up huge amounts of gritty sand which they carry as mighty storms across the world.

The greater the wind velocity, the greater the chance will be of sandstorms developing. Sandstorms cut down on visibility and can tire even the hardiest traveler in seconds. During the harshest storms one cannot even see his hand in front of his face.

The wind itself can blow hot winds from the Salt Flats across the earth, raising the temperatures in cities such as Allanak to well above one hundred forty degrees.

Two things may help against these forces of nature: one, that the weather is almost always worse downwind than upwind, and second that the worst conditions can always be found on the lee side of places such as the Red Desert. Careful attention to the winds and weather will assist travellers greatly.

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